Manchester United will seek reinforcements ahead of the January transfer window with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having ‘prioritised’ the addition of three new signings.
The Manchester United boss is keen to strengthen his options ahead of the winter window and will target two central midfield players, in addition to a forward as the club seek to add further firepower and creativity to their squad.
According to The Athletic, United chief Ed Woodward is cautious about the value of conducting business in January, though Solskjaer is keen to add to his squad as soon as possible as the rebuild at Old Trafford continues.
Back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City have lifted the club into fifth in the Premier League, though they have struggled in the opening months of the campaign and their squad still remains unbalanced.
Solskjaer is now keen to address the issues within his squad and has made the signing of a forward a priority, with Red Bull Salzburg’s Erling Braut Haaland the club’s number one target.
The teenager has emerged as one of the hottest properties in world football following a prolific season with the Austrian champions, scoring 28 goals in just 21 appearances in all competitions, including eight in just five appearances in the Champions League.
United will face strong competition to secure the 19-year-old should Salzburg be willing to sanction his sale, though with Solskjaer having previously managed his Norwegian compatriot at Molde, he is said to hopeful of luring him to Old Trafford.
🇳🇴 Erling Haaland this season:
🏟 21 Games
⚽️ 28 Goals
🎯 7 Assists
— SPORF (@Sporf) December 9, 2019
Rumours of a €20m release clause may also help their pursuit, however, the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, is reportedly advising the forward move to another European club to continue his development ahead of a potential switch to United or another leading side in the coming seasons.
In addition to targeting Haaland, Solskjaer is also believed to hold a strong interest in Leicester’s James Maddison, the 23-year-old having shone for the Foxes so far this season and possessing both the industry and creativity lacking in the club’s current midfield.
However, Maddison has entered talks over a new deal at Leicester in recent weeks and will be difficult to prise from the King Power Stadium, Brendan Rodgers’ side likely to demand a fee of around £100m for the player, and are unlikely to part with the England international mid-season as they bid to secure Champions League qualification.
According to the Mail, United will also launch an ‘ambitious’ move for Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez.
The Spain international is regarded as one of the finest midfield talents in La Liga, though securing a January deal for the 25-year-old will prove difficult.
The club’s hierarchy are however reportedly prepared to back Solskjaer in his pursuit of the player, though a summer move looks more likely should they be able to persuade Niguez to leave the Spanish capital for the Premier League.